The Vienna Charter - Presentation of Results

Charter talks were held between April and October 2012 in pubs, parks, club houses, public swimming pools, offices, youth centres, branches of companies, and retirement homes. 8,500 people participated in the talks. They represented a cross-section of Vienna’s population: children, young people, senior citizens, blue and white collar workers, entrepreneurs, non-working persons as well as people with different mother tongues and countries of origin, people with different religious beliefs, worldviews and political opinions. Each talk was moderated by two people who also put the group results online in a transparent way.

The Vienna Charter in figures

  1. partner organisations
  2. Charter talks in all districts of Vienna
  3. 8,500 participants invested more than 12,500 hours in good neighbourly relations
  4. More than 47,000 online contributions were submitted

The Vienna Charter - The Text

Vienna is home: for women and men, for young and old, for those who were born here and for those who moved to the city, for people with different worldviews, beliefs and needs. To get along well, we need to respect each other. Respect means accepting other people the way they are - in a way how we ourselves wish to be accepted and respected. Human rights are our common basis!

"Getting along well"

Good manners and respect in everyday life

Getting along well in a big city is a challenge. There are many different interests and lifestyles - in the neighbourhood, on the road, in the parks, in public transport, in coffee houses and restaurants, on sports grounds... Greeting and helping each other, talking with each other, saying "please" and "thank you" - are all common courtesies. If we find something annoying we should mention it clearly and politely. Being able to put yourself in someone else’s position can avoid or reduce many aggressions.

Good manners on the road and in public transport

Millions of people are on the roads in Vienna - they are in a hurry or just stroll through the city, they walk or use public transport. And they meet each other daily. To get along well in public space we need to respect each other. We need to observe the road regulations and try to stay calm to avoid conflicts. We should avoid talking loudly on the phone or listening to loud music on public transport and, in general, respect other passengers.

"Not always the same"

I and those who are different from me

The many different lifestyles in our city are an enrichment. But they can also be overwhelming. Being open to other lifestyles and interested in them is the best way to live as good neighbours. It is up to everyone of us how we choose to live but we are responsible for each other. It is beneficial to be open towards other people’s habits and experiences. We should consider our own needs and those of others. Everyone is unique and because we may have had a negative experience with someone from a certain ethnic group we must not think that others from the group are exactly the same. We can see the differences but we focus on our common humanity.

Speaking German - speaking other languages

Communicating and talking with each other is essential to understand each other. People in Vienna speak many different languages. This is a sign of diversity. If we want to live together as good neighbours we have to speak the same language. We should be understanding and supportive if someone has only started learning German. If your German is still poor you should continue to improve it. It is also important to speak and study your first language in Vienna. Different languages and different cultures have been part of Vienna’s identity for many centuries.

Young and old

People of different ages meet in Vienna everyday. They have different interests in their leisure time and may have different ideas about what good neighbourly relations in our city should look like. We want Vienna to be a child and young people friendly city - noisy children are not noise pollution! However, it is also a major concern for all of us that senior citizens feel cared for and at home in Vienna. We listen to other generations and are interested in their experiences. We respect senior citizens and we give children and young people the appreciation and space they deserve.

"Feeling at home in a clean and tidy city"

A clean city

Clean streets, sidewalks, courtyards, parks, playgrounds, meadows and forests are important for all of us! We consider the environment because we want to live in a clean city. We do not just dump our waste and throw cigarette stubs on the streets. We clean up after our dogs. We feel responsible for the city we live in.

Public space - room for all of us

There should be plenty of opportunities in public space for leisure time, meeting and talking, and there should be plenty of space for all of us. We should actively participate in designing and maintaining public space and accept different needs. We search for joint solutions and sustainable compromise.

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